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Long Live Porterdale!!!

Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River
NAMED for: Oliver S. Porter, Mill Owner




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It would be interesting to learn the description of work performed by each of our VIP's.  We would like to hear from you telling us exactly what you did while working for the Bibb.

Please email it to:

[email protected]


Sent: 3/4/2004 10:25:20 PM
Subject: Re: Porterdale

It just dawned on me that most folks don't have any idea of what (work-wise, that is) went on in the mills.  I've never tried to find a book that described mill activities, though I have seen quite a few photos made in mills.  It would be interesting to hear folks describe their jobs - if there are any such folks left.
I have a small embarrassing story to tell about my 3-month stint working 3rd shift in Osprey mill.  I helped maintain the Barber-Coleman Automatic Spoolers, huge mechanical wonders that took string off bobbins, automatically tied the ends to the previous string, and wound it onto larger rolls that would then be mounted, in large numbers, on a machine that then took all their strands and wound them in parallel on a large "beam" which then was put on a loom to weave cloth.  The machines I worked on were adjacent to the spinning room.  There, soft "roving" was twisted into string on rapidly spinning bobbins.  The spinners' job was to service many spindles and connect the already-spun material on the bobbins to more roving to make a very long single strand.  To do this, the spinner would take the end of the already-spun twisted material and just touch it to the new roving.  The twisting string would grab the roving instantly and the spinning would continue.  It was done so quickly, you could barely see it happen.  The spinners (mostly women) would walk the length of the spinning frames and "put up ends" pretty much without stopping.  I asked if I could try it.  Big mistake!  I'd have to say I didn't spend a lot of time trying, but I never put up a single end!  (Someone may be able to correct my terminology if it's wrong.)

John Day